## How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
JLR

Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

### How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

At this stage of the cycle, I am curious to know who, if anyone, and where someone has received an acceptance at a school where the applicant is a non URM and below both medians? A great deal of time, effort and money is spent working on and analyzing PS's, softs, etc. However, at least at this stage, I suspect it is a numbers game only and I suspect the responses to this thread will confirm it.

09042014

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Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

JLR wrote:At this stage of the cycle, I am curious to know who, if anyone, and where someone has received an acceptance at a school where the applicant is a non URM and below both medians? A great deal of time, effort and money is spent working on and analyzing PS's, softs, etc. However, at least at this stage, I suspect it is a numbers game only and I suspect the responses to this thread will confirm it.

Go search Lawschoolnumbers.com for below both medians at many schools. It's not pretty.

duckmoney

Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:21 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

I applied in September and just got my first acceptance to a school where I'm below LSAT median (I'm above GPA 75th and was just shy of LSAT median). I'm still waiting to hear back from 7 other below-one-median schools.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be below both. I guess there are enough splitters and reverse splitters out there that it just doesn't happen.

tomwatts

Posts: 1710
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

I think you may be interpreting the data wrong: the fact that only people with at least something above a median are getting in doesn't necessarily mean that the softs don't matter. After all, not everybody who's above-median gets in. So which people with great numbers are getting right now? People with good softs, too. The people with great numbers but poorly written applications, no work experience, etc., are still in limbo, just like the people with poor numbers.

So it's not ONLY numbers. It's just dependent on numbers to a large extent.

09042014

Posts: 18204
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

tomwatts wrote:I think you may be interpreting the data wrong: the fact that only people with at least something above a median are getting in doesn't necessarily mean that the softs don't matter. After all, not everybody who's above-median gets in. So which people with great numbers are getting right now? People with good softs, too. The people with great numbers but poorly written applications, no work experience, etc., are still in limbo, just like the people with poor numbers.

So it's not ONLY numbers. It's just dependent on numbers to a large extent.

You are looking at this wrongly as well.

There are some numbers that make you auto admit even with shitty softs, and a poor application.

There are some numbers that make you auto deny.

And there are some numbers were softs matter.

JLR

Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Again, just to be clear, I am waiting to hear from anyone who was a non URM, below both medians and accepted (not rejected).

09042014

Posts: 18204
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

JLR wrote:Again, just to be clear, I am waiting to hear from anyone who was a non URM, below both medians and accepted (not rejected).

You are going to be waiting a long time.

bk1

Posts: 20072
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

JLR wrote:Again, just to be clear, I am waiting to hear from anyone who was a non URM, below both medians and accepted (not rejected).

Even if you do hear from someone, since that person is a huge exception, why does it matter?

JLR

Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

I think you are correct. At the end of the day, I suspect that the best softs, the best PS, the best whatever, no matter how packaged, will not and cannot overcome being below both medians (assuming a non URM). I hope to be proven wrong but like you said, I may be waiting a long time.

tomwatts

Posts: 1710
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Desert Fox wrote:There are some numbers that make you auto admit even with shitty softs, and a poor application.

There are some numbers that make you auto deny.

And there are some numbers were softs matter.

Well, it depends on the school. There are no numbers that make you an auto admit everywhere. HYS will do whatever they want (even if Harvard loves the numbers, it gets enough applicants that it can reject a few with high numbers but terrible apps). On the other hand, some of the lower schools will, yeah, pretty much auto-admit anyone with high enough numbers.

So to say that ALL law school admissions is ALWAYS a formulaic numbers game is too big a generalization. That's all I was saying.

If the OP was simply saying that being below both medians tanks your chances at more or less any school, well, that's probably true. Very few will get in if they're under both medians. However, the subject line ("It's Only Numbers") is rather misleading if that was the only point to be made here.

JLR

Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

That's exactly what I was saying: "being below both medians tanks your chances at more or less any school, well, that's probably true".

paulinaporizkova

Posts: 2489
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:25 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

If you are looking for specific examples....I am a non-URM and I got accepted to UVA (OOS), Georgetown, and Cornell with a 167 LSAT and a 3.95 LSDAS GPA - I think the Cornell has a 168 median LSAT but I know UVA's and Georgetown's are both 170. I have really strong softs, I took the LSAT once, and I know I have a super high GPA, but everyone knows LSAT is more important - and by a lot sometimes. It can be done, especially if you are willing to apply ED somewhere. I also (surprisingly) was offered a full scholarship plus living stipend (50,000+ for 2011-2012 to start) to the UMN, where the LSAT median is 167 - I am a resident, though, so that had to make a difference.

HOWEVER, I also applied to 5 other t14 schools, haven't heard from any despite applying in September, and I know waitlists and dings are coming for me very soon from all of these schools because of how predictable these cycles are when you do a little LSN researching.

ScottRiqui

Posts: 3637
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

09042014

Posts: 18204
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

tomwatts wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:There are some numbers that make you auto admit even with shitty softs, and a poor application.

There are some numbers that make you auto deny.

And there are some numbers were softs matter.

Well, it depends on the school. There are no numbers that make you an auto admit everywhere. HYS will do whatever they want (even if Harvard loves the numbers, it gets enough applicants that it can reject a few with high numbers but terrible apps). On the other hand, some of the lower schools will, yeah, pretty much auto-admit anyone with high enough numbers.

So to say that ALL law school admissions is ALWAYS a formulaic numbers game is too big a generalization. That's all I was saying.

If the OP was simply saying that being below both medians tanks your chances at more or less any school, well, that's probably true. Very few will get in if they're under both medians. However, the subject line ("It's Only Numbers") is rather misleading if that was the only point to be made here.

Harvard has auto admits. Y and S doesn't you are right, but they are 2 schools out of 200. And they still require great numbers.

glitter178

Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:21 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

ScottRiqui wrote:So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

i think military experience IS one of the few good softs, particularly if it includes combat experience.

09042014

Posts: 18204
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

ScottRiqui wrote:So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

Try UVA, Northwestern, Michigan, Cornell, and Georgetown.

Texas loves GPA. You probably have no shot at Texas, though maybe with residency and a great PS.

bk1

Posts: 20072
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

ScottRiqui wrote:So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

Military service, especially that long, is one of the better softs. Other good softs are things like Rhodes Scholar and the link, some people think TFA is pretty good as well (it is highly selective).

For you, UT just hates low GPAs and nothing will really cure that, even the most amazing softs.

emhellmer

Posts: 183
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:53 am

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

ScottRiqui wrote:So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

Actually, I am under the impression that military service is one of the best "softs" you can have, especially if you re-enlisted. Also, an undergraduate major in engineering is another good "soft." Get a high LSAT score, I think you will be surprised!

Hannibal

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Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:00 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Barbie here got into UIUC with a decent scholly, below both medians and I think below one 25th. She has two huge softs though.

*waits for joke*

bk1

Posts: 20072
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Hannibal wrote:Barbie here got into UIUC with a decent scholly, below both medians and I think below one 25th. She has two huge softs though.

*waits for joke*

glitter178

Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:21 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Hannibal wrote:Barbie here got into UIUC with a decent scholly, below both medians and I think below one 25th. She has two huge softs though.

*waits for joke*

i wish that worked.

JLR

Posts: 36
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:17 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

Folks - trying to keep this on point. I am focusing on exceptions to auto rejects (below both medians, non URM), not anything else. Not splitters, reverse splitters or softs. ANYONE below both medians and a non URM who has an acceptance?

Shooter

Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:39 am

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

I know this is anecdotal, but I know a guy (non-URM) who got into Harvard with a 171/3.7. He had really amazing soft factors though.

bk1

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Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

JLR wrote:Folks - trying to keep this on point. I am focusing on exceptions to auto rejects (below both medians, non URM), not anything else. Not splitters, reverse splitters or softs. ANYONE below both medians and a non URM who has an acceptance?

What are you on about?

Are you seriously asking for someone below both medians who has no softs that got in? Someone who has literally nothing going for them?

paulinaporizkova

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### Re: How Formulaic - It's Only Numbers

ScottRiqui wrote:So what are "good/great" softs, anyway? From everything I've read here, my MS in physics and 20-year career in the military aren't worth the ink it would take to print them on my application, so I have to wonder what all these wonderful softs are that people are using to overcome middling GPAs and LSAT scores?

Sorry if this comes across as bitchy, but I'm beginning to think that even if I get a mid-170s LSAT, getting into UT with a 2.9 engineering GPA that's 20 years old is going to require me to hang out at burning orphanages hoping for a kid to rescue.

Hmm, I'm glad you responded to my post. This has been my experience with the law school game. I've known I wanted to go to law school ever since early high school. I've always thrived very well in academic environments and would pretty much do anything to get an A and do better on this test or that project than everyone else. I'm extremely competitive, argumentative, and sometimes unpleasant because of it. But I blazed my way through college studying for hours every day because I knew I wanted to go to a top law school and get the best legal education I possibly could. I'm also gay and have decided that I want to use my competitive and argumentative nature to fight for LGBT rights, at least on some level throughout my legal career. I think on some levels, my being gay was what made me work so hard all these years - I knew I was always going to be "different" and at times marginalized and I wanted to put myself in a position where I could support myself well and ultimately be advantageous to the LGBT community; I wanted to make sure I had all the guns in the arsenal before setting out, because at this point I still don't have the faintest clue where my life is going to take me. But I know I could never be happy in the traditional sense of husband, 2.5 kids, house in the burbs....it's complicated.

So no, I don't have MS's and PhD's and my LSAT (95th percentile when I took it) was on the low end of most schools I applied to, but I think the fact that I worked so damn hard in college really reflects my ability to succeed in graduate school, which is why I think I was accepted to these schools with a "subpar" LSAT.